5 Tips for Consistently Getting Better Sleep

Life is hectic, chaotic, and complicated, pulling us in a myriad of directions every day. As a result, between home and family responsibilities and workplace demands, many adults exist on a steady diet of too little sleep and too much stress. Despite being coached since high school health class, they have resigned themselves to the importance of sleep. A lot of people decide that if they reach the goal of 7 – 8 hours of sleep once a week or so, that’s good enough. But really, it is not.

To the detriment of our mental and physical health, not only do we get too little sleep and often on an erratic schedule, but the quality of the sleep we do get tends to be poor. Healthy sleep encompasses three components:

  • Quantity – how much sleep we get
  • Quality – sleep that is uninterrupted and refreshing
  • A consistent schedule – made challenging by irregular or night shift work and chaotic lives

With so many people and responsibilities making demands on our time, something must give, right? So, we make what seems like the necessary decision to sacrifice quality sleep. But attention to these straightforward tips can bring about positive changes that will impact the “health” of your sleep.


Make your bedroom a work-free, comfortable, dark, quiet, cool zone.

Never take work to bed and ban it from the bedroom altogether if possible. Instead, create a relaxing atmosphere with soft lighting. According to the Sleep Foundation, 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for a good night's sleep. Invest in a comfortable mattress outfitted with soft, inviting linens and pillows. Consider a weighted blanket as it can help the body to relax.

Stretch before bed.

Tense muscles can sideline the best-laid plans for a good night’s sleep. Rather than allowing tight muscles to keep you tossing and turning, searching for a comfortable position, spend 15 to 30 minutes doing light stretching exercises before you hit the hay.

But do not do a full workout which will send adrenaline coursing through your body and stimulate all kinds of brain activity—both of which will hinder falling asleep quickly. Note that a regular exercise routine earlier in the day—at least three hours before bedtime—can, over time, positively impact healthy sleep.

Eliminate noise.

If the family or neighborhood tends to be noisy, pop in a pair of earplugs. A “white noise” machine can mask the sound of environmental noises such as the furnace or AC kicking on and off. If you wake up at the same time each night (or too early each morning), try to determine if noise may be the culprit.


Establish a relaxation routine.

What helps you to unwind? Probably not the nightly news, perusing your email, or a quick read-through of tomorrow’s to-do list. And while some folks insist on falling asleep in front of the TV, that habit can rob you of quality sleep. So instead, turn off the TV and other screens an hour before bedtime and try reading or listening to music to lull your mind in the direction of sleep.


Don’t lie in bed awake.

If after 20 minutes you can’t fall asleep, don’t succumb to angrily tossing and turning. Sometimes the harder you try to get some shut-eye, the more stubbornly sleep evades you. So, do something calming until you feel sleepy, such as reading or listening to soft music.

Consistently getting adequate, quality sleep will enhance every aspect of your life. Make it a priority!

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